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Primary School Poets Hook Prizes in ‘Something Fishy’ National Competition

27th June 2021
Something Fishy poetry competition logo

Two young poets from Tipperary and Carlow respectively have scooped the top prizes in this year’s Something Fishing national poetry competition, organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in conjunction with the Blackrock Education Centre.

Orlaith Timmons, a fifth-class pupil from Moycarkey National School in Thurles, and Aoibhé Kieran, a sixth-class pupil from Ballon National School in Carlow, each won the top prize in their categories for their nature-themed poetry.

Earlier this year, primary school students around the country were challenged by IFI to create an acrostic poem, where the first letter of each line spells out the word ‘STREAM’ (for an English-language poem) or ‘SRUTH’ (for an Irish-language poem).

Announcing the winners, Environment Eamon Ryan said: “These are gorgeous poems that really capture the joy these young people are experiencing spending time in nature. I’d like to congratulate all our budding young poets on their achievements this year.

“Through this environmental competition, primary school children have shown huge enthusiasm for nature, fish, other wildlife and the world around us. Improving our children’s knowledge and understanding of biodiversity, through initiatives like this one, will be an important part of our climate action efforts.”

The competition is part of the wider Something Fishy Educational Programme, aimed at primary school pupils aged between 10 and 13. It educates students on the importance of biodiversity and on having sustainable habitats, fish and angling.

Despite school closures during the 2020/2021 academic year, online content was still available to pupils and teachers through the official website at somethingfishy.ie including lesson plans and activity sheets based on the theme of the life cycle of salmon — bradán as Gaeilge.

From over 100 entries, the judging panel also selected runners-up from Ballon National School and Bennekerry National School (Carlow), Scoil Mhuire National School in Corofin (Galway), Scoil Cholmcille in Greencastle (Donegal) and St Canice’s Girls National School in Finglas (Dublin).

Praising the young winners and their schools, Suzanne Campion, IFI’s head of business development, said: “By researching and writing about fish, wildlife and rivers from an early age, primary school children are learning really important lessons about biodiversity and how we all have a role to play in protecting and conserving our environment.

“Congratulations to all our winners and our thanks to everyone who took part in this year’s competition. I’d also like to thank all the teachers, principals and school staff who supported the Something Fishy programme and competition over the last year.”

The overall winners will receive a fishing kit to the value of €100 and runners-up will receive an outdoor field trip kit to the value of €50. Third-placed winners and special category winners will receive goody bags.

“This year we received fantastic entries from budding poets and nature enthusiasts. With a total of 114 entries in the competition for its second year running, it is encouraging to see the interest amongst young people across Ireland,” said Dr Susan Gibney, director of the Blackrock Education Centre.

“Competitions like this not only help with student’s literacy skills but also expands their knowledge of the biodiversity that exists around them in our lakes and rivers.”

All winning poems from the 2021 Something Fishy national poetry competition can be read at somethingfishy.ie/schools

Published in Angling
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